03 January 2014

Bob's Red Mill 10 Grain Waffles

If you spend any time in the organic aisle of your grocery store, you've probably seen dozens of different products from Bob's Red Mill of Milwaukie, Oregon. If you need to find a flour made from damned near anything, Bob's is your best bet: green peas, fava beans, tapioca, and many, many others.

On Christmas Eve, I found myself craving waffles, and instead of going for the usual Krusteaz mix, I grabbed something a little more wholesome. Oh sure, I could make my own mix beginning with a yeast starter (and have often in the past), but I was feeling a little under the weather and just wanted to mix in some eggs, make my waffles, and freeze a bunch of the leftovers to enjoy later. I was also inspired by leftover samples of the Crown Maple, particularly the alluring dark amber variety.

The 10 Grain Pancake and Waffle Mix is made from wheat, rye, triticale, barley, corn, oats, brown rice, soybeans, millet, and flaxseeds. I wasn't familiar with triticale, but it turns out to be a hybrid of wheat and rye. It's most popular as a feed grain but has some appeal to health food enthusiasts and home brewers.

Much like with bread, waffles fall into the yeast and quick divisions. I find that yeast waffles have a more bread-like texture and sometimes a deeper flavor (particularly if you incorporate a sourdough or other starter), while the quick bread versions (leavened by baking soda, baking powder, and buttermilk powder) have a finer crumb and are crispier. Quick bread also has the advantage of being able to be prepared fairly instantly and in whatever quantities are necessary, while yeast mixes often need to be made the day before, and if you need more, well, you've got to wait another 24 hours.

This mix struck a nice balance with the fine crumb combined with the chunky bits of other grains, leading to a flavor reminiscent of the many multigrain breads that have become popular these days. I served mine simply with butter and maple syrup, though I'm looking forward to making another batch with grated cheddar and apple to amp up the flavor. And as I mentioned before, homemwade waffles freeze beautifully and are far superior to anything you'll get out of a freezer case at the grocery store. Just toss them in zip-top plastic bags and re-heat in the toaster or oven, not the microwave.

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